Portada Island Life documental

An expedition around the world with Anna Traveset

A documentary by Joan Bover


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Anna Traveset

Anna Traveset had one thing very clear from a young age: she liked animals, travel and adventures. Her father took her to look for mushrooms in the forest and was a faithful follower of Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente. With her television programs, Anna began to forge her love for nature, which, on the other hand, rubbed the door of her house in Organyà, a small town in the Lleida Pyrenees.

His adventurous spirit and desire to travel have been a constant. Her career as a biologist has allowed her to combine her three passions.

From high school and after watching a film about war reporters, Anna knew that she wanted to do something exciting in life that involved risk. Therefore, it is not surprising that one of its legends is the famous primatologist Dianne Fossey, who introduced mountain gorillas to the world.

Thanks to Ramón Margalef, a renowned oceanographer, he decided he wanted to do ecology and study living beings in their environments. Ramón made her a letter of recommendation with which she was admitted to the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia). Thus, in 1985 he would move to the USA.

The culture clash between Catalonia and Philadelphia was very hard for Anna. Nevertheless, he joined the team of Daniel Janzen, a renowned tropical ecologist. When Janzen offered him to work with him in Costa Rica, he didn't think much of it, and he did his doctoral thesis there.

For many months of the year, Anna got up at six in the morning to study the animals. There he learned a great deal about them and their interactions, and since then, he would never stop doing so.

At the age of 27, Anna wanted to return to Spain, so she applied for a scholarship and went to Seville, to work in Doñana, in the ecology unit. After two years he felt the need to set up a team in another centre, and found the opportunity in Mallorca. In 1994 he got a position in property at the CSIC and stayed in the islands.

Before that, however, I would have had time to go through countries like Alaska. Living and studying those territories was one of the most fantastic experiences of Anna Traveset's life: "Never in my life have I been so intoxicated by beauty as at this moment..." Anna was deeply affected the beauty of the landscape, and returned from Alaska with the batteries charged and ready to eat the world.

And she did, since after years studying the island of Cabrera and promoting different projects around the world, in 2022 he received the Ramon Llull Prize, one of the highest recognitions awarded by the Balearic Government, and a little later, he obtained the most important European aid allocated to scientific projects, the Advanced Grant. This aid is only granted to pioneering, high-risk projects and leading scientists in their field of research.

IslandLife will drive the most comprehensive study to date of multilayered ecological networks in terrestrial ecosystems, assessing many types of interactions between species simultaneously. For the first time, the trophic structure of pristine or undisturbed islands will be compared with nearby, human-inhabited islands to understand the effects of global change on these valuable ecosystems.

Anna Traveset is on the cusp of a professional life, carrying out one of her life's dreams. But Anna is tireless by nature, and she only thinks about the next adventure.



Anna Traveset a Lipari - Stromboli